Not even Miesha Tate wants to see Ronda Rousey 'get slaughtered' by Cris Cyborg

Ronda Rousey and Cris Cyborg squaring off in the octagon sounded like an awesome idea about three years ago. It sounds like an absolutely terrible idea now, though.

Considering Rousey got destroyed by Holly Holm and Amanda Nunes in her last two fights and seemingly has no interest in ever coming back, you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who believes Rousey even belongs in the same cage as the reigning UFC women’s featherweight champion – except, of course, for Edmond Tarverdyan.

Rousey’s longtime coach actually had the audacity this week to lobby for her return for one more fight against the biggest killer in the history of women’s MMA, which really makes you question his motives. Thankfully, Cyborg refused to even entertain the possibility.

One person you’d think wouldn’t mind watching Cyborg pummel Rousey is her biggest foe, Miesha Tate. But even Tate took Tarverdyan to task for his “asinine” suggestion.

Via Tate’s Sirius XM Radio show “MMA Tonight:”

“I’m going to give Cyborg a round of applause, because she wouldn’t look anymore like a bully than if she took that fight with Ronda,” Tate said. “That would be ridiculous. It’s just nonsense to even think about that. I cannot believe that Edmond would even suggest something so asinine.”

“I think Edmond just wants another payday so he can try to pay off his bankruptcy issues, because Jiminy Christmas. Poor Ronda,” Tate added. “You know, I’m not her biggest fan, but I wouldn’t even want to see that fight. I’m not her biggest fan, but I don’t want to see her get slaughtered by Cyborg at this point in her career, either. It’s not appealing. That’s not what this sport is about. It’s about great, competitive matchups, and I just don’t feel like it’s even fair to ask for something like that. If you were looking out for your athlete, why would you do that?”

Listen to Tate’s full 3-minute segment on the subject below:

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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MMA at Joint Base Langley-Eustis: MMAjunkie Radio's trip with Tate, Felder, Covington and Stitch

Whenever the topic of the United States Armed Forces comes up, the first thing that often comes to mind are words like “sacrifice” and “service.” But after recently visiting Joint Base Langley-Eustis (JBLE) in Hampton, Va., with a few UFC fighters and members of the MMA community, those words and titles now carry weight in a way they didn’t before.

The trip started on an early Thursday morning, with a crew of people from all parts of the country convening in a hotel lobby. Led by MMAjunkie Radio hosts George Garcia and Brian “Goze” Garcia, retired ex-UFC champion Miesha Tate, UFC fighters Paul Felder and Colby Covington, as well as legendary cutman Stitch Duran, also joined the adventure to come.

Wasting no time, Operations Officer Carl Cook of the 633rd Force Support Squadron made sure we got off on the right foot.

Engagement skills training facility

Starting off in Fort Eustis, we began the tour by seeing the Army side of JBLE.

As the title “Joint Base” indicates, JBLE represents both Langley Air Force Base and Fort Eustis. Officially coming together and becoming operational in 2010, JBLE is one of 12 joint bases in the U.S.

Incorporating state-of-the-art technology, the armed forces can now train much more efficiently and safely, even when it comes to high-powered weapons.

Colby Covington. (Photo credit: Tristan Biese)

Under the watchful eye of experienced trainers, we had the privilege of using the Army’s weapons simulator, firing real guns in a simulated environment.

Similar to an amplified video game, giant screens ran wall to wall, displaying interactive imagery ranging from target practice to specific environmental scenarios. And like children in a candy store, we fawned over what we were shown, eagerly awaiting our turns in line.

Thankfully, the soldiers and staff could not have been any more patient and polite and assisted us every step of the way.

U.S. Army Transportation School

Despite having “Army” in the title, the U.S. Army Transportation School trains all departments of the military.

In fact, many service men and women from both the Navy and Air Force visit this Army facility since it houses some of the top simulation technology. The school even offers access to full-on command rooms, which are capable of running a whole team of students through simulations, recreating every last detail and feel of operations from a ship deck.

Miesha Tate (Photo credit: Tristan Biese)

Specializing in mobile support, they provide simulations for all forms of transportation and support duties, ranging from multiple ship types, construction cranes and even forklifts.

Keeping with the spirit of video games, we again witnessed the current shift in technologies and how the Armed Forces were embracing this new age by implementing it into their training systems.

As someone who used to drive a forklift, I was amazed at how accurate they could recreate the experience. Not only can the program manufacture the feel of operating the machinery, but it also simulates the feel of outside elements like wind, snow and sleet, all with the click of a button.

Courtesy of Felder, my forklift tasks were cut short when my route was suddenly struck by gale-force winds and heavy snow, spinning my vehicle off the road. Fortunately, it was just a simulation. I can only imagine what the expenses would be without programs like these.

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With finance career on hold, Miesha Tate-managed Gustavo Lopez eyes UFC deal

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For some, pursuing fighting as a career stems from a lack of options. For others, it’s a logical development of lifelong athletic pursuits. But for bantamweight Gustavo Lopez, it was a conscious choice that took straying away from what was probably a safer path.

Lopez, 28, trains during the week and works two jobs – as security and as a busser – on the weekends to cover the bills. While his day-to-day isn’t that big of a departure from that of many up-and-comers who have yet to make it to the big stages, it’s one that would probably be a bit more comfortable had he not decided to go with his gut.

“I was starting my finance career, and I’m like, ‘My passion is in fighting,’” Lopez told MMAjunkie Radio. “I love to fight. I love to train. I was trying to do both. It was super stressful, and I just (said to myself), ‘You know what? I can always go back. I’ve got my degree. It doesn’t go away. It does’t expire. I’m still keep up on that stuff. If I ever need or would like to go back to it, the option is there.’

“Other than a bachelor’s (degree) in finance, I’ve got two associates in business accounting. (I’m) a very savvy, very smart with numbers, very intelligent kind of guy. But my passion is in competing. I want to be the best in the world. Right now, the pinnacle of fighting is being the UFC champion.”

Lopez (8-2) is currently riding a two-fight winning streak – both stemming from first-round submissions. The first of those, at Combate Americas, came over someone whose last name may sound familiar: Steve Swanson, UFC contender Cub Swanson’s older brother. It was a big one too; Swanson was coming off four straight knockout wins before getting caught in the first round by Lopez.

Considering his consecutive dominant displays, Lopez and his manager –  former UFC bantamweight champion Miesha Tate, who also happens to be his close friend and training partner of seven years – think that a big leap might be in the horizon.

“We both feel like we’re one, two fights away from just getting already in the UFC,” Lopez said.

In the meantime, however, Lopez wants to stay as active as possible. While he is a five-fight Combate Americas veteran, Lopez actually has an open contract that allows him to explore his options. The weekly Dana White’s Contender Series events on UFC Fight Pass, for instance, could be one of them.

“There’s a chance,” Lopez said. “There are some bantamweights I feel I can just dominate.”

But, willing to fight at either flyweight or bantamweight, the 28-year-old fighter also sees a possibility of bypassing the weekly series and making it straight to the octagon – even if that means taking a short-notice call. If not, there’s certainly no lack of options.

“(PFL President) Ray Sefo offered me a fight already, on the biggest (PFL) show here,” Lopez said. “Combate (Americas), (I’m) still talking to them, because even though I’m not under contract with them, if they keep me active, I’d love to keep fighting with them. Because they’re a great promotion and good fanbase, all Hispanics, all Latino. They treat their fighters really well.”

Despite the momentum, fact is that Lopez is still unable to support himself exclusively with fighting. And like probably everyone in his position, he certainly would like to change it. Which is what he hopes will happen now that he’s being managed by Tate and her agency, AO8.

“The plan, hopefully, with this management is picking up these big sponsors that would (say) like, ‘Hey, what’s your rent? What’s your this? What are your necessities? We’ll pay for it. Do your thing. We’re going to support you.’” Lopez said. “That’s the dream.

“I’d love to fight four to five times (a year), maybe. Even more, if possible. If I go in there and dominate like I know I can, I’ll keep fighting every couple of months. I have no kids. I just have my girl and my dogs, and now a cat. I love to train and fight. I’d love to do as much as possible, if I could. Working, it’s a necessity right now to pay the bills.”

For more on upcoming MMA schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Gina Mazany talks pros and cons – well, just pros – of having ex-UFC champ Miesha Tate as manager

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As far as MMA managers go, it seems like UFC bantamweight Gina Mazany has a pretty complete package in former champion Miesha Tate.

After all, it’s not every day you get to be mentored by someone who not only knows you but has some valuable first-hand experience with a lot of your possible competition.

“One thing I love about training with Miesha is that her and I, we’ve trained together,” Mazany told MMAjunkie Radio. “We’ve sparred together. We’ve grappled together. We’ve wrestled together. So she knows what I have to offer, what I have to put on the table. I like it when she’s like, ‘You should fight so and so, I think that would be a really great fight for you.’

“Because she’s experienced – not only with the game and probably a lot of the girls that are currently in the 135 division, but also with me.”

Tate was the one who told Mazany (4-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC) that, four fights into her professional MMA career, she had just landed a UFC contract. The news, however, came with a caveat: Mazany would have only 16 days to prepare for her debut against former title challenger and Olympic medalist Sara McMann.

Add to it that Mazany, who’d just finished “a big steak dinner,” was a little bit heavy, and you have some unfavorable conditions for her first time in the octagon. But, from the start, the answer to Tate’s offer was always clear on the newcomer’s mind.

“It’s one of those things where it’s like a door opens, and you’ve got to run through it,” Mazany said.

The debut, which took place at UFC Fight Night 105 in February, didn’t go well. Mazany ended up on the unfortunate end of an arm-triangle choke by her much more experienced opponent. But regardless, only five fights into her professional MMA career, Mazany is officially a UFC fighter.

Moving forward, the bantamweight plans on still getting another fight by year’s end. As far as possible matchups go, she’s already got some social media beef stewing.

Well, sort of.

“Her name is Lucie Pudilova,” Mazany said. “She’s newly signed. I originally wanted to fight her, because – she first got signed, and she fought Lina Lansberg. Good scrap, really good fight. Lina ended up pulling off the win. And then after, my Twitter was blowing up, with Lucie like, ‘I want to fight Gina,’ talking all this trash.

“And then I got on Instagram, and she was talking all this trash. And I was like, “I just got on the scene, I just got beat up by Sara McMann taking a last-minute fight, what did I do?’”

Mazany would later come to find that the confrontation with Pudilova, who recovered from the Lansberg loss with a decision over Ji Yeon Kim, was merely the work of a “total Twitter troll.” But now that the seed has been planted, she’s down if Pudilova is.

“I think that’d be a fun fight,” Mazany said.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Miesha Tate opens up on Ronda Rousey and why she feels blessed they had intense rivalry

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RIO DE JANEIRO – For years, Miesha Tate and Ronda Rousey were the protagonists of one of MMA’s legendary rivalries.

The two only got to meet in the cage twice: first in Strikeforce and then in the UFC. Tate (18-7 MMA, 5-4 UFC) was first the champ, then the challenger. Both resulted in armbar submission wins for Rousey (12-2 MMA, 6-2 UFC). Outside of those fights, however, the fiery verbal exchanges were frequent – peaking when the two coached opposite each other on “The Ultimate Fighter 18” in the lead-up to their second encounter.

Their careers then went separate ways. Rousey defended the UFC’s women’s bantamweight belt four more times before a shocking knockout loss to Holly Holm. Tate ended up taking the title from Holm, before Amanda Nunes claimed it from Tate, and announced her retirement last November after a loss to Raquel Pennington. Rousey has been M.I.A. since last December’s failed comeback effort against Nunes, who dismantled Rousey inside a minute.

Three and a half years have passed since Rousey and Tate last fought. Rousey’s return is still a mystery; Tate remains happily retired. But still, she can’t seem to shake the ghost of Rousey in public conversation.

Looking at what came of it, though, Tate is OK with having her name so closely tied to Rousey for so long.

“In hindsight, I definitely feel like it was a good thing,” Tate told MMAjunkie. “I feel like I was blessed to have a rival like Ronda Rousey. Because, without the two of us, there wasn’t enough. She wasn’t enough by herself, and I wasn’t enough, definitely, by myself.

“It was the two of us together, our fight in Strikeforce, that made (UFC president) Dana White and (former UFC CEO) Lorenzo Fertitta say, ‘Wow, OK, maybe the UFC can have a women’s division, because these two were competitive.’”

Tate believes the idea of unfair matchups was the main reason behind White’s reluctance to embrace a women’s division in the UFC. And while that first Rousey match back in 2012 ended in the final seconds of the first round, Tate believed she showed enough competitiveness and guts that it convinced the UFC executives there was enough depth to build a women’s roster around.

“I think it was her and my fight together that was so close,” Tate said. “It was back-and-forth, and there was lots of action. She would almost catch me and then I’d have her back. It was very competitive, and even at the end I refused to tap. I let her literally snap my arm in half. That was my choice. I got put in the armbar; that wasn’t my choice. But to let it literally fold backwards was definitely my choice.

“That was because I’m so stubborn, and I had a lot of heart and desire, and I didn’t want to give up. And I think all of those facts together are a big part of the reason why the women’s division is here today. And why we actually have four women’s divisions. It started because that fight was so close and contested. It was a good fight. I can look at it objectively and say it was a very good fight.”

Tate also went into detail about her comments on a possible trilogy fight, which comes with caveats. Tate made sure to clarify, before it becomes the takeaway, that she does not “want to fight” Rousey – or anyone else, for that matter. And looking at their current lives, neither does Tate believe that it’s feasible.

But if Tate was ever to get back “that 110% passion” to return to the cage, there’s really only one person with whom she has unfinished business.

“That was the fight that I was hopefully working toward, and it didn’t come to fruition again. But it almost did,” Tate said. “When Holly Holm fought Ronda Rousey, that was actually supposed to be my fight. I was preparing for that, and it didn’t work out for me, but it did for Holly. And obviously all of that unfolded, and I beat Holly, and it is what it is. But I was ready and prepared in my mind that a third fight with Ronda Rousey was going to happen.

“So it’s kind of always something that just stuck with me, that it was meant to happen. At this point, I highly doubt that can ever come to fruition. I know that she’s engaged to Travis (Browne), and she probably wants to start a family. Who knows if she wants to return? And I certainly have no desire to want to return.”

As for the bad blood we got to see flourish between the two in front of the cameras, Tate says it was all very real.

“We’re just completely different people,” Tate said. “She is who she is, I am who I am. I doubt that we’ll ever probably see eye-to-eye on much. And that’s OK. You don’t have to like everyone. There’s billions and billions of people on this planet. I don’t have to like every single one of them.

“I’m perfectly OK with not liking Ronda Rousey as a person. I respect her tremendously as an athlete. I think she’s great. As a person, not so much. We’re not going to be having coffee at Starbucks any time soon.”

Maybe things could have been different had it not been for the media-fueled rivalry, the competition and the emotionally challenging “TUF” experience. But after that spark was ignited, Tate just doesn’t believe there’s a way to reverse it.

“First impressions are first impressions,” Tate said. “And when you have someone who’s fighting in your division, who starts to talk smack about you, you’re kind of like, ‘Wow, first impressions. Who the hell are you? Rude.’ That was kind of my first impression, like, ‘Jeez, this girl’s talking.’ It kind of set me off on the wrong note and then she didn’t like what I had to say. And that was it.

“We just never, never, never got along. Who’s to say if it had been under completely different circumstances. Maybe if we had been teammates or trained together – maybe. But that’s long gone. That’s never going to happen.”

For more on our exclusive chat with Tate, check out the video above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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